Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Constant Heart by Siri Mitchell



From the author of Chateau of Echoes (a really wonderful book, see my review) comes a very well-researched novel about Queen Elizabeth and her court life. It is also a love story involving an arranged marriage. Imagine marrying someone you’ve never met, and having him take one look at you and shun you. Imagine being a virtual slave to a queen who holds your future in her hands. One false move—including falling in love with your husband or wife—will ruin you forever.

Marget wants nothing more than to please her new husband, but he seems to want nothing more than to hate her. She desperately wants to be accepted by the queen and the members of her court, but they seem to hate her without cause. How is she to win her husband’s love? How is she to figure out the rules to the game of court? She does eventually figure it out, but not without grave consequences.

Wow, this book is truly unique. And if you’re a true historical romance fan, you can’t help but lose yourself in the story and the details. It is a bit depressing to learn how Queen Elizabeth treated her subjects, and what the heroine and hero, and everybody else, has to go through, but I promise it has a happy ending. And the romance—ooh la la! It is very romantic, in spite of all the sad things the heroine goes through. I have to recommend this book. It will stay with you for a long time.

Stepping Stones Award


I won an award!
Rita Gerlach, debut author of Surrender the Wind, which will be released in August from Abingdon Press, is also the owner of the Stepping Stones e-zine. She has given me this award for my blog and the reviews I do of historical novels. Isn't that sweet? Thanks, Rita!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Christian Writers' Market Guide, 2009


If you are a writer of Christian fiction, non-fiction, short stories, articles, novels, whatever, you pretty are going to need this book at some time this year. It's Sally Stuart's Christian Writers' Market Guide. Sally Stuart puts this book out every year, all updated and current. If you're looking for an agent or just trying to sell your work, this book will give you the information you need to submit your work to the appropriate markets.

I have a wonderful agent now, but it's still nice to have this resource when I'm thinking about possible publishers, or a place to send an article I have in my head. And if I'm not mistaken, this book is the only Christian Market Guide out there. It has all the information you need in one handy place, so I highly recommend it, if you're at a point in your writing career where you're ready to submit your work.

Oh, and sorry I've been so remiss in blogging lately. I've read two great historical novels lately, I just haven't taken the time to tell you all about them. Sorry! I will try to do better. But I've been working so diligently on my new novel, and having so much fun with it . . . so that's my excuse.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Winners of Never Say Diet giveaway

And the two winners of the Never Say Diet books is . . .
Rose McCauley and Merrilee!
Congratulations!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Never Say Diet! Big Giveaway!



You may remember that I blogged about this book, Never Say Diet by Chantel Hobbs, last year in May. Here's the link if you want to check out my short review.

Now I have two copies, yes, two copies, to give away, and I am also giving away the companion book, The Never Say Diet Personal Fitness Trainer

And I will give the two books away together. I think you'll really enjoy them, if you're trying to lose weight, and it seems everybody is! I know I am! I have to! Unless I want to go on high blood pressure medicine, and no I don't!!!

The companion book is sort of like a 16-week workbook, which includes a scripture for the week. It has meal suggestions and even recipes, and it leads you through your daily exercise routine. It's full of great pep talks, too! I think you'll love this author's straightforward style, and the fact that she knows how it feels to be 200 pounds overweight and out of control with her eating, and she knows how it feels to look and feel great. And she'd rather feel great! And so will you!

So leave a comment if you wish to be included in the drawing!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Diamond Duo - A Review by Keli Gwyn

Please welcome my "writer friend" and critique partner, Keli Gwyn, to the blog today! She has written a wonderful review of a book she obviously loved, Diamond Duo by debut author, Marcia Gruver. Here's Keli's review:


Marcia Gruver transports the reader to Jefferson, Texas in the year 1877, a real town with a rich history—and an attention-grabbing murder. Using the facts from the actual events leading up to the dastardly deed, Ms. Gruver brings to life a fictionalized account, a gem of a story resplendent with well-developed characters and emotion.

The story begins with the appearance of the mysterious, elegantly attired and bejeweled “Diamond Bessie” and the menacing man who holds a tight leash on her. Enter the heroine of Diamond Duo, a young woman of faith, Bertha Biddie, who wants nothing more than to attract the attention of Thaddeus Bloom. Certain the gorgeous, self-assured “Bessie,” “Annie,” or whomever she is knows the secret to catching a gentleman’s eye, Bertha befriends her. Thaddeus, equally captivated by Bertha, must put duty before love. He heads off to military school to satisfy his domineering father, leaving his beloved behind, much to his dismay. She pines for him and yet is worried about her newfound friend, whom she fears is in serious trouble.

With a rich cast of memorable secondary characters, Ms. Gruver sweeps the reader into a story that moves her quickly from one engaging scene to the next. Sarah King, a black farmer’s wife dealing with lingering attitudes resulting from the Civil War, is beautifully portrayed. She plays a significant role in the story, which we see from her perspective on numerous occasions. A powerful transformation takes place in the lives of Bertha’s parents. I loved the addition of these people as well as the others who populate the town and the story. The book is definitely a romance, but it’s also a wonderfully told tale of the life-changing effects the events leading up to the heinous crime have on a close-knit community and how seemingly disparate individuals overcome their differences. The growth of the major players is wonderful to witness.

When I pick up a book from a new author, I never know what to expect. In some cases, I feel a sense of disappointment. In others, I come away satisfied. Every now and then, though, I’m so mightily impressed that I add that author to my “must read” list, which is the case with Marcia Gruver. She’s an artist whose canvas is the page and whose medium is carefully chosen words. The cover includes a quotation from author Kathleen Y’barbo, “ A masterpiece waiting to be found.” I agree.

I heartily recommend Diamond Duo to any reader who enjoys a historical inspirational. And the good news is that if, like me, you’re left wanting more, the sequel, Chasing Charity, book two in the Texas Fortunes series, is coming in spring 2009. It’s on my “gotta get it” list, that’s for sure.

Thanks, Keli! Great review.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Contests!

Go check out my article on the pros and cons of entering writing contests. It's on my crit partner, Keli Gwyn's blog, Romance Writers on the Journey.
You could also win a prize if you correctly guess how many contests I entered last year! (Hint: It's a lot!)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

New Releases -- Corrected

Apparently there were a couple of errors with that list of January New Releases, so here's the corrected list.

1. Bayou Betrayal, Book 5 of the Bayou series by Robin Caroll from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. When a woman arrives in town to meet her relatives, an arsonist doesn't want her to stay!

2. Be Strong and Curvaceous, All About Us #3 by Shelley Adina from Hachette FaithWords. Carly Aragon's faith is tested when she takes on a crush crasher who comes accessorized with a stalker.

3. Before the Season Ends, Lights of London, Book One by Linore Rose Burkard from Harvest House. A Christian young woman must make her way through the treacherous waters of a Regency Season in London; while her worldly, wealthy aunt tries to marry her off for money.

4. Cursebreaker, Book One of The Order of the Scrolls Series by Nancy Wentz from Whitaker House. Author Nancy Wentz's drama unfolds in both the physical and spiritual realms, treating the reader to a thrilling tale of mystery, passion, and historical intrigue.

5. Fireflies In December by Jennifer Erin Valent from Tyndale House. A young girl comes of age amidst the racial prejudice of Depression-era Virginia.

6. Hannah Grace, The Daughters of Jacob Kane by Sharlene MacLaren from Whitaker House. A new century, a new sheriff, a new love...many things are about to change in the town of Sandy Shores.

7. Kiriath's Quest by Rick Barry from JourneyForth Books (a division of BJU Press). A YA Christian fantasy adventure that reaffirms the value of faith, family, love and loyalty.

8. Milk Money by Cecelia Dowdy from Barbour Publishing (Heartsong Presents). Can Frank find faith in Jesus, while battling alcoholism, as he seeks the love of Emily Cooper?

9. Mommy's Hometown Hero, Dalton Brothers Book 2 by Merrillee Whren from Steeple Hill. Ex-soldier Matt Dalton wants to bring his friend Rachel Charbonneau back to the Lord and win her heart as well.

10. No Place For A Lady, Heart Of The West Book One by Maggie Brendan from Revell. Can a Southern belle tame the heart of a rugged cowboy?

11. Paper Roses, Texas Dreams #1 by Amanda Cabot from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. There's only one problem when mail-order bride Sarah Dobbs arrives in Texas to greet her groom: he's been murdered.

Friday, January 02, 2009

January 2009 New Releases

Thanks to Jill Eileen Smith for the new releases info! Here's Jill.

A new year! So much to look forward to, so much promise! We've got 12 new releases to start us off on 2009's adventure. Check them out - and don't forget to visit my new Spotlight interview with author Lisa Harris.

1. Bayou Betrayal, Book 5 of the Bayou series by Robin Caroll from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. When a woman arrives in town to meet her relatives, an arsonist doesn't want her to stay!

2. Be Strong and Curvaceous, All About Us #3 by Shelley Adina from Hachette FaithWords. Carly Aragon's faith is tested when she takes on a crush crasher who comes accessorized with a stalker.

3. Before the Season Ends, Lights of London, Book One by Linore Rose Burkard from Harvest House. A Christian young woman must make her way through the treacherous waters of a Regency Season in London; while her worldly, wealthy aunt tries to marry her off for money.

4. Cursebreaker, Book One of The Order of the Scrolls Series by Nancy Wentz from Whitaker House. Author Nancy Wentz's drama unfolds in both the physical and spiritual realms, treating the reader to a thrilling tale of mystery, passion, and historical intrigue.

5. Fireflies In December by Jennifer Erin Valent from Tyndale House. A young girl comes of age amidst the racial prejudice of Depression-era Virginia.

6. Hannah Grace, The Daughters of Jacob Kane by Sharlene MacLaren from Whitaker House. A new century, a new sheriff, a new love...many things are about to change in the town of Sandy Shores.

7. Kiriath's Quest by Rick Barry from JourneyForth Books (a division of BJU Press). A YA Christian fantasy adventure that reaffirms the value of faith, family, love and loyalty.

8. Milk Money, Shadowside Series - Book 2 by Cecelia Dowdy from Barbour Publishing (Heartsong Presents). Can Frank find faith in Jesus, while battling alcoholism, as he seeks the love of Emily Cooper?

9. Mommy's Hometown Hero, Dalton Brothers Book 2 by Merrillee Whren from Steeple Hill. Ex-soldier Matt Dalton wants to bring his friend Rachel Charbonneau back to the Lord and win her heart as well.

10. No Place For A Lady, Heart Of The West Book One by Maggie Brendan from Revell. Can a Southern belle tame the heart of a rugged cowboy?

11. Sweetwater Gap, (Women of Faith Fiction) by Denise Hunter from Thomas Nelson. A woman returns home to help save her family's apple orchard and must face the ghosts that chased her away so many years ago.

12. The Edge of Light, Book One in the At Home in Beldon Grove Series by Ann Shorey from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. It's 1838 on the Missouri frontier--how will Molly McGarvie keep her young family together after her husband's sudden death?

Happy reading ~